The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM) has put a pause on orders for products across the whole business, and furloughed its formal tailoring wholesale team, Drapers can reveal.
EWM, owned by Philip Day, has informed Bonmarché, Jaeger, Austin Reed and Peacocks suppliers that it will be cancelling all pending and future orders until further notice.
Meanwhile, all of the company’s 47 formal tailoring wholesale staff have been furloughed, as a result of head office, factory and warehouse closures. The company warned it could also impose the temporary leave for staff elsewhere across the group if demand falls.
It comes after Drapers revealed that over 100 employees across the head office and business functions, including those who had received job offers at the company, were let go last week.
A spokesman for EWM Group told Drapers: “On Sunday, we took the difficult decision to close our stores until further notice. This was a painful decision, but the only one that a responsible business could take to prioritise the safely of our team and customers.
“Given that our stores have now closed until further notice, we have decided to put a pause on orders for products across the group. This was an essential step as otherwise we would be taking delivery of stock that we simply could not sell. We felt that we had no other choice in the matter.
“Our relationships with suppliers are absolutely fundamental to our business, and this is not what we would ever normally wish to do but the current circumstances are such that this is a necessity. We look forward to working with our suppliers in the future, and working together once this unprecedented situation has reached its conclusion.”
He added: “Separately, we have taken the decision to furlough a small number of staff in our formal tailoring division. As we weather the current downturn, this will ensure that we can protect the jobs of our team members as much as possible.”
The retailer closed stores from Sunday 22 March until further notice.